Guided nature tours, including special programs for bird-watchers.
King Ranch has a long history of wildlife management. As early as 1947, famed conservationist Aldo Leopold called King Ranch “one of the best jobs of wildlife restoration on the continent.” Today, the ranch is a vital part of an incredibly diverse landscape in South Texas dubbed “The Last Great Habitat.”
Since 1995, the nature tour program has allowed visitors to see the benefits of this conservation ethic in the abundance of native wildlife that roams the ranch. Besides rich populations of game species such as northern bobwhite quail, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey, King Ranch is also home to an incredible number of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. We have been honored as an Internationally Important Bird Area: 356 species of birds have been recorded here, including the largest known population of ferruginous pygmy-owls in the United States. In 2003, a species of damselfly never before seen in the U.S., the cream-tipped swamp-damsel, was discovered on the ranch.
So whether you’re interested in big deer, beautiful birds, or the wonders of nature, King Ranch is the place to visit.
Enjoy a tour through some of the premier wildlife habitat in the country. Besides being famous for the quality of antlered white-tailed deer in its pastures, King Ranch is home to a diverse range of animal species including javelina, bobcat, wild turkey, American alligator and a host of other birds, mammals, and reptiles.
October 8, 2013-March 8, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and (some) Saturdays
King Ranch is a showcase for the incredible diversity of wintering and resident tropical birds in South Texas. We’ll visit habitats from wetland to grassland looking for birds such as least grebe, white-tailed hawk, crested caracara, vermillion flycatcher, great kiskadee, green jay, olive sparrow, and more.
October 21, 2013 – March 17, 2014 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Closed Wed. 12/25/13 and Wed. 1/1/14) Saturday, 01/04/14 not offered but will be offered on Thursday, 01/02/14.
|(4 or more participants)||$34/person|
Come spend the day birding the northernmost part of King Ranch. In addition to the species listed for the Winter Birding Half-day tour, we’ll also look for birds such as Sprague’s pipit and burrowing owl. Lunch and drinks provided.
November 5, 2013-March 11, 2014 on most Tuesdays @ 8:00 a.m.
|(3 or more participants)||$89/person|
This tour to the southernmost part of King Ranch can be an unmatched birding experience. With some of the rarest breeding birds in the U.S. like the ferruginous pygmy-owl and tropical parula, AND habitat for migrating passerines, the ranch is a wonderful place to bird in spring. Other species we’ll look for include northern-beardless tyrannulet, Audubon’s oriole, Botteri’s sparrow, and white-tailed hawk. Lunch and drinks provided.
Tours offered on the following dates at 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Offered March 19, 2014 – June 7, 2014 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 6:00 a.m.
|(3 or more participants)||$125/person|
We can provide custom nature tours on birds, butterflies, dragonflies, native plants, and general wildlife. Rates vary by length and destination, so please call for information.
Spotlighting Tours (2 1/2 hours)
Join us the weekend of the King Ranch Breakfast for a special treat! Spotlight tours look for the same wildlife as our half-day tour, with the focus on nocturnal creatures.
November 22-23, 2014 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
|(2 or more participants)||$22/person|
For more information or to make a reservation, contact:
King Ranch Visitor Center
Highway 141 West
PO Box 1090
Kingsville, Texas 78364-1090
Fax (361) 595-1344
For a complete checklist of the birds of King Ranch please see “King Ranch Birds” under the “Stewardship and Education” section of this website.
Note: Vehicles headed north after a Spring birding tour travel through the Sarita U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Check Station. Each vehicle is met at the checkpoint by Border Patrol agents for a quick visual inspection and brief questions to determine citizenship. The process is routine, and most stops average less than a minute in duration. All passengers need to carry proper identification to verify U.S. Citizenship such as a Drivers License or Student ID card. Foreign nationals planning to take a Spring birding trip on the King Ranch should be sure to carry the appropriate documentation to avoid unnecessary delays, as Border Patrol agents are required to determine the immigration status of every traveler. Participants who do not have proper identification will not be permitted to board vans headed for King Ranch birding excursions on the Norias Division of the ranch, as an 1-2 hour delay in return of a birding trip would not be fair to other participants.
For Wildlife Half-day and Winter Birding Half-day Tours:
If cancellation by person(s) with reservations is made 7 days or more before tour date, there will be a full refund. Within 7 days, there will be no refunds. Changes in time of tour must be made in writing and received via email or fax or mail within 7 days of tour, or guide will only be able to accommodate the guest during the specified reserved time.
For Winter Birding Full-day and Spring Birding Full-day Tours:
If cancellation by person(s) with reservations is made 14 days or more before tour date, there will be a full refund. Within 14 days, cancellations will be subject to a $30/person cancellation charge.
In the event that any outing, day tour, or half-day tour is canceled by King Ranch due to inclement weather or for any other reason, a full refund will be sent to all who are currently reserved for that tour.
In the event that any tour or outing is canceled by King Ranch for any reason, King Ranch’s sole liability shall be to refund advance payments made. King Ranch specifically disclaims any liability for actual damages beyond any payments or deposits made and for any incidental or consequential damages.